From the beginning, OSSCC has supported Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) as a way to help students feel safe in school. GSA is a student-initiated and student-run club in a public or private school. The goal of a GSA is to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and straight ally youth to meet and build community, to discuss issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, and to work to create a school environment free of discrimination, harassment, and intolerance. Research shows that all students in a school with a GSA feel safer than in a school with no GSA.
GSAs are active in many high schools, some middle schools, and even a few elementary schools in Oregon. OSSCC supports existing groups by sharing resources, through a mini-grant program, and by hosting workshops for advisors. We also support the creation of new groups.
Since 2015, OSSCC has offered mini-grants to GSAs to support club activities. To be eligible for a grant, an activity must be planned, directed and implemented by youth and must have a school sponsor. The application process and form is provided each year on this website and the OSSCC Board approves those mini-grants to be funded. Groups that receive mini-grants are expected to submit a short final report describing the impact of the activities.